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Protests at Frankfurt Bookfair:
Regime Change rather than Critical Dialogue

Press Release by the Organizers and Supporters of the Protest against the Invitation of the Arab League as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Bookfair 2004

The Arab States, which are presenting themselves during the Frankfurt bookfair, are, without exception, dictatorships, in which freedom of thought and the freedom of the printed word are being oppressed.

What is being presented as a "dialogue of culture", is in reality nothing but a one-way / biased communication, since there is no independent or free literature in the Arab states presenting themselves.

Most of the articles and books are not translated. Thus, anyone who is not able to understand Arabic cannot understand or assess the true meaning of the displayed scripts. Therefore, what kind of serious dialogue could there possibly be?

Almost all of the Arab authors, whose literature has been translated, live in exile and do not understand themselves as representatives of the Arab League.

The vast majority of the Arab regimes, which are "guest of honour" during this year’s bookfair, do not grant their own citizens democratic rights.

There is no freedom of religion. Equal rights for men and women are rejected. Women who rebel are in danger of being persecuted and murdered. Minorities do not enjoy any form of protection and – like homosexuals – are threatened with death.

Non-conforming authors and even their families are frequently persecuted, jailed, compulsorily divorced, or even threatened with death.

State controlled media praises the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Some of the most popular Western scripts in the Arab world (which have been translated into Arabic), are the fake anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and "Mein Kampf".

The official "guests of honour" at the Frankfurt bookfair represent the Arab League, whose member countries are anything but democracies. They are hostile towards women, extremely dangerous for minorities; they hate Jews and despise Western values.

"Dialogue of culture" needs partners, who are able and ready for dialogue; partners who can agree on the basic principles of not only freedom of thinking and writing, but also on the freedom of individuals, no matter whether female or male, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or of any other religion, hetero- or homosexual. All these forms of social co-existence are part of a society which respects human rights.

Assuming that the people responsible for the bookfair are not sympathizers of Islamist regimes, which have a hostile attitude towards the West and towards Jews, there is still the question of: Why the Arab League? Is it possible that these people, like many others in the Western world, have still not understood, that their signals of dialogue and their readiness to understand, meet a hermetic, undemocratic Arab wall, hostile towards Jews and the West?

We point out that the representation of the Arab League during this year's bookfair is neither "business as usual" nor harmless.

Vice versa, dictatorships, which are anything but democracies, which are hostile towards Jews and Israel, which despise non-conformist women and minorities, are given a forum to present themselves, a forum which they could previously only dream about.

Further Information about planned events is also available Online, at:
Regime Change rather than Critical Dialogue -

This press release is among others being supported by the following organisaztions and personalities:

[a:ka] (Göttingen)
AK Kritische Theorie FH Frankfurt
AmEchad (
Annetta Kahane (Amadeu-Antonio-Stiftung /
Antifaschistische Gruppe Gießen (
Arbeitgemeinschaft Antifaschismus an der Universität Potsdam
Arbeitskreis Hilfe für Israel (Pfr.i.R. Winfried Amelung, angeschlossen an:
Offenes sozial-christliches Hilfswerk Bautzen e.V.)
Rolf Behrens (Politologe und freier Journalist)
Bärbel Bohley (Bürgerrechtlerin)
die jüdische (
Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft AG Saar (vertreten durch Yoram Ehrlich, 2. Vorsitzender und Mitglied des Bundespräsidiums der DIG)
DIG Jufos Rhein-Ruhr (
European Council of WIZO Federations
Prof. Rachel Friedman-Birnbaum M.D.
Gruppe.Internationale.Webteam [GI] (Berlin)
Gruppe Morgenthau Frankfurt ( (
Honestly-Concerned (
Human.Network.Org (
ISRAEL-Heute e.V. - Christen an der Seite Israels
Jedid Jisrael ( (
Jüdischer Jugend- und Studentenverband Hessen (
KLAK - Konferenz Landeskirchlicher Arbeitskreise "Christen und Juden"
Lothar E. Klein (Vorsitzenden der Sächsischen Israelfreunde e.V.)
Les Croquembouches
Mein Israel - Für Israel heute! ( / (
Pfarrerin Annemarie Werner aus der Vaterunser-Gemeinde (Berlin Wilmersdorf)
Projekt Archiv e.V. (Berlin)
Prozionistische Linke Frankfurt (Hochschulgruppe, Frankfurt) (
Ilka Schröder (Ex-MdEP) (
Take a Pen (
Wadi e.V. (
Zionist Federation of Germany / Zionistische Organisation Deutschland (
François Zimeray (Honorary Member of the European Parliament)
Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jerusalem)

Deutsch 06-10-2004

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